Ornamental cherry tree blight

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Tom Bullock, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. Tom Bullock

    Tom Bullock Member

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    Dear Forum,

    We have an ornamental cherry tree in front of our west facing home in Abbotsford BC. It is about 18 years old and now stands about 25 ' high. We have been experiencing leaf curl on the tree for about the last five years and it is getting worse.

    The tree seems to respond somewhat to fertilizer but still loses about 20% - 30% of it's foliage each summer. We cannot determine if this problem is caused by pests, mould, or whatever. I have just given the tree a good pruning to allow more air flow but want to act further before budding starts.

    Do you have any suggestions or in turn can you recommend a local expert?

    Tom
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    try taking some damaged foliage etc to a local garden center and try to find a qualified person to help you, otherwise you can try finding a certified arborist and see what they have to say.
     
  3. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member

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    Out in Abbotsford there is The Ministry of Agriculture buildings off, is it Delair Rd. The big red barns, just along the north side of the freeway. For $12+gst, you can drop off a sample at the back building for diagnosis. It will be at their plant and animal sciences building.

    Holes in the leaves, leaf edges missing looking similar to insect damage, along with leaves drying out, curling up and falling off during summer?
     
  4. Tom Bullock

    Tom Bullock Member

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    Thank you for your reply. Yes, all the symptoms you mention happen. We had a close look at the leaves that fell last summer and could find sign at all of insects. TB
     
  5. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member

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    Here are 3 common problems on Cherry trees I come across spraying trees around the lower mainland.

    As you said, likely wouldn't find insects on the dead fallen leaves anyway. And the only common pest that eats holes through the leaves on Cherry trees around here is the Span Worm. Which comes in April and takes off in June. Fortunately, new growth keeps coming and covers up all the leaves with holes, and the tree ends up looking fine. So an average infestation each year is usually no big deal.

    And pretty much the only other common culprit for holes in the leaves is shot hole Disease. These holes keep coming all summer, and are different shaped, like a shot gun shot them. When severe conditions set in so does brown rot, where clumps of leaves die off and hang on to the branch till late season. Then slowly each year all your tree ends up with is long stringy branches, with growth only on the tips. Some sort of Bacterial blight, is a big deal.

    "Holes in the leaves, leaf edges missing looking similar to insect damage, along with leaves drying out, curling up and falling off during summer?" These symptoms seem to be something new, all over the lower mainland and with no disease or insect pest present. Yet it effects a hundred varieties of trees, shrubs, and just about everything with leaves, all with the same symptoms, well maybe not always the falling off part. Check other plants. Could it be climate change? Whatever, lots of water seems to be the best cure so far

    I hope this helps explain some of the possibilities you may encounter with a sick looking Cherry tree. At least locally anyway. Sry for the novel, and good luck with your tree, Jim.
     
  6. Krimmel

    Krimmel Member

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    I'm having a similar problem with an established double cherry cultivar at my new-to-me home in Maple Ridge. Locals tell me that all the cherry trees around here did very poorly last year. It bloomed magnificently but shortly after, half the leaves (the east half) looked eaten and as I look out the window now, I can see that what was left of the leaves did not fall - they are hanging and brown. Funnily, the west side of the tree still has green leaves, though they too look mottled and eaten.
    There's quite a bit of moss on the trunk. Should this be removed?
    K
     
  7. Krimmel

    Krimmel Member

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    Jimweed,
    Thanks for your reply. It's much appreciated.
    I'll have to get a photo of the leaves and see if that will help in identification of the pest or problem.
    I noticed that new leaves are forming on the tips of branches that have been stripped of all foliage.
     
  8. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member

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    Hi Krimmel, I could suggest plenty of water for your Cherry tree. Anything to get the roots building up, even fertilizer will help.

    If you can post some pics that would help. It does sound like Brown Rot (Bacterial Blight) could be the culprit causing the leaves to hang on in dead clumps. Shot Hole is the same disease, so these symptoms may also be present.

    Entire leaves stripped to the veins would take an enormous insect or mass populations which would have to be visual. This is more likely to be caused by something abiotic. Damaged roots or blocked arteries from Bacterial Blight.

    Last years cool and damp summer has reasonably improved the cosmetic look on a lot of Cherry and Maple trees that were in sad looking conditions from the hot dry summers of '03-'06. Once again I do suggest plenty of water to help build up the root system.

    Have a nice day,, Jim.
     
  9. Krimmel

    Krimmel Member

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    Thanks,
    I'll give it a try
    K
     

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